Winter Water Damage Horror Stories

Winter Water Damage Horror Stories

Water damage can destroy a home. Once water damage has occurred, it is important to get started on the drying and cleaning as soon as possible. Mold spores thrive on damp environments. To keep your home safe from mold growth, it is important to get the affected areas clean and dry within 24 to 48 hours to prevent further damage.

Not all water damage is covered by insurance policies. Depending on how the water damage occurred, the homeowner may end up being responsible for all the costly repairs. This can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the extent of the damage. Here are some horror stories from companies that have been involved in the aftermath of winter water damage wreckage.

Winter Water Damage Vacationing Disasters

Joe Battisto, with Haven Environmental has some examples of horror stories while homeowners are away on vacation during winter months. He also shares some tricks for protecting your property while you are vacationing:

“When you and your family live in warm and sunny Syracuse NY, nothing sounds better than a Disney cruise in February.  Every year, a homeowner calls us when they return, usually in the middle of the night (catch the last flight back to Syracuse, stretch out every moment of the Caribbean sun!), and finds the water supply pipe froze, then split open and ran for who knows how long.

It’s happened this past year already, and we are assisting the family to salvage what they can and dry out the home.  Last year, a million-dollar home of a local celebrity suffered the fate while they were “wintering” in a warmer climate.   The water line was on the second floor of the home and I estimated 660,000 gallons of water flooded the house over a 10-day period.  Just for reference, that is the amount of water an Olympic size swimming pool holds.

One minute, the family is headed home relaxed, tanned, tired, and thinking on the time of their lives they just had, and the next moment, their lives become anxiety riddled chaos and stress as they sit in the family car (usually crying) in the driveway at 2 AM because the house is flooded and destroyed.

Take this as a cautionary tale, regardless of the season, when you leave your home, do some basic protective things.

  1. Don’t turn the heat way down, this will cause parts of the house that are not near the location of the thermostat to possibly get to freezing temps.
  2. Shut off the water at the main if you can.  Some heating systems require water to be left on, in that case shut off lines that run to other areas of the home.
  3. Make sure your water heater tank has a way to drain if it breaks. Water heaters have 10 years of service life, after that, it’s just a matter of time until it ruptures.
  4. Open the faucets in your sinks after the water is shut off, this will allow the pressure to be relieved if a line freezes and expands.
  5. Have a working sump pump, with a battery backup set up.
  6. Have someone you trust monitor the property while your gone.”

Older Homes and Winter Water Damage

Consumer Safety has some information and tips about winter water damage:

“Older homes tend to have pipes running up the exterior walls, increasing the likelihood they’ll freeze on bitter cold days. While the best solution is to have a contractor blow insulation into the walls, it may be beyond the budget. If you aren’t afraid of a little DIY and drywall, you could cut open the walls, and insulate from the inside.

A word of caution though, as many homes built prior to 1975 contain asbestos, you should have a professional inspect any insulation that you discover before disturbing it.

Attics provide a more interesting challenge because you have exposed pipes that need to be warmer, and the underside of a roof that should be kept colder to prevent icicle formation which can lead to roof leaks. In this case, the best option is to insulate pipes and floors thoroughly, and leave an attic window or two cracked open to allow colder air circulation against the roof. If ice dams form in gutters, they should be removed to prevent damage to the roof, as well as leaks.”

Is Your Home a Water Damage Horror Story?

If you have been dealing with an unfortunate water damage incident, you may feel like there is little help available. If any flooding occurred, most insurance policies will not cover losses you have incurred.

If you are in the process of selling a home when you are inflicted with a water damage nightmare, it can be even more heartbreaking. Luckily, We Buy Ugly Houses can help you to sell your house fast and move on with your life. We buy houses regardless of condition and will buy your house as-is with no repairs needed. Call us today to see if we can help.